In May 20 Issue
The call to take government back to the people was felt in Russell County Tuesday and throughout the state of Kentucky.
The race of Rand Paul for U.S. Senate had taken on the base of a Tea Party candidate and gained nationwide coverage as he defeated the party-picked and party supported Tray Grayson.
Nationwide media attention was attracted to Kentucky as the day was viewed as an early message of what we might expect from the Tea Party movement.
Russell County has always been recognized as a Republican stronghold in statewide races. However, this election the endorsement of party leadership was not so apparent as Rand Paul carried Russell County with a large majority over the party picked Grayson.
Upon his victory, Rand Paul stated, “The Tea Party is here and we are here to take our government back.”
This apparent Tea Party taking back government or demanding a change was also felt in several local races.
Whether it was the Tea Party or just a Coke or beer blast, some local incumbents felt the sting of change here.
The defeat of incumbent County Judge Executive Mickey Garner was orchestrated by Ralph Creech. Creech, a local businessman, had made a run for the office four years ago but lost by 320 votes. He came back this election to win by 1005 votes.
Seeking his second term, the voters turned Garner away and apparently also turned away the old way of doing things. Creech based his campaign on keeping county government open, guiding county government to benefit the taxpayers, and taking control of county expenditures.
Garner has been critized for not always being in financial control of projects and for conducting a very closed type of govenment.
Garner is also facing charges from an incident where he reportedly lost control of his temper during a discussion with County Attorney Mark McGaha.
County Attorney Mark McGaha also felt the sting of defeat. McGaha was in his first term and was defeated by a former Assistant County Attorney Kevin Shearer.
Shearer, a very active attorney and community supporter , has a large family based support and has been actively campaigning for several months. He carried the race with a large majority, 1100 votes.
All incumbents did not fall from office as Sheriff Larry Bennett was re-nominated for another term. Although his race was successful, he did face a very active and aggressive opponent, Tim Pierce. The race came down to the total count 2,992 Bennett votes, while Pierce received 2,238 votes,.
While we are aware the national Tea Party efforts were not factored in our local races, we do firmly believe that most taxpayers have had enough of the old style politics and the old style of doing things.